A multifunctional core-shell nanoparticle for dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapy

Nat Nanotechnol. 2011 Sep 11;6(10):675-82. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2011.149.


Dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapy requires tumour antigens to be delivered efficiently into dendritic cells and their migration to be monitored in vivo. Nanoparticles have been explored as carriers for antigen delivery, but applications have been limited by the toxicity of the solvents used to make nanoparticles, and by the need to use transfection agents to deliver nanoparticles into cells. Here we show that an iron oxide-zinc oxide core-shell nanoparticle can deliver carcinoembryonic antigen into dendritic cells while simultaneously acting as an imaging agent. The nanoparticle-antigen complex is efficiently taken up by dendritic cells within one hour and can be detected in vitro by confocal microscopy and in vivo by magnetic resonance imaging. Mice immunized with dendritic cells containing the nanoparticle-antigen complex showed enhanced tumour antigen specific T-cell responses, delayed tumour growth and better survival than controls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / immunology
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / pharmacology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / transplantation
  • Drug Carriers / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects*
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Mice
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Drug Carriers